NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Highways criss-cross the landscape of Americana Music - from Howlin' Wolf's Highway 49 to Bob Dylan's Highway 61 to Hank Williams' "Lost Highway," which somehow encompasses them all.
Luke Powers' new CD takes a tour of Highway 100, half real, half myth. The real Tennessee State Road 100 runs from Nashville almost to Memphis. Before I-40 became the main east-west artery in the 1950s, Highway 100 was the "blue highway" carrying musicians playing country, blues, R&B and gospel to and from Music City.
Luke Powers lives less than a mile from the real Highway 100, but even closer to the myth. His new CD chronicles the terrain that Greil Marcus famously called the "old weird America." Part Civil War legend, part sideshow, part tall tale, HWY 100 gives the listener a wild ride and leaves them somewhere down the road.
Luke's latest batch of musical phantasmagoria is inspired by Snopes.com and Franz Kafka.
"I won't use the cliche that these songs wrote themselves," he says, "because I worked pretty hard to get them right. Or as Tommy Spurlock would say, wrong."
1) "Mechanical Monkey" -- a hymn to the cymbal-crashing wind-up toy;
2) "Humanzee" -- a lament of the world's only hybrid human/chimp;
3) "King of the Blues" -- a paean to the first bluesman to sell his soul to the devil;
4) "Balloon Boy" -- the testimony of a true believer in the infamous PR hoax;
5) "Ballad of the Minie-Ball" -- Civil War legend about a minie-ball ricochet that impregnated a Southern belle (true story);
6) "The World's Smallest Confederate Veteran" -- song about a little person who rose to rank of General and post-war sideshow attraction (undetermined);
7) "Starchild" -- confession of a Roswell crash alien reincarnated as a human girl.
"Texas Death Row Blues" is a real Southern Gothic horror story based on the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. In 2009 the fire science used to convict Willingham has been called into question - generating international attention.
Joining Powers are Richard Lloyd (Television), Suzi Ragsdale (Ray Stevens, Guy Clark), Tommy Spurlock (Rick Danko, The Band), Michael Smotherman (Captain Beefheart, Roger Miller), Tim Lorsch (Goose Creek Symphony) and John Davis (Superdrag).
"I swear I'm not making this up," Powers says of his collaborators. "I always thought I belonged somewhere between Ray Stevens and Captain Beefheart."
Powers has previously released albums Picture Book (2007), Texasee (2008) and Running to Paradise (2009); he joined Spurlock, Garth Hudson and Jamie Oldaker for The Spicewood Seven's Kakistocracy (2006).
ABOUT LUKE POWERS
Luke Powers is not your ordinary Nashville songwriter. With a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University, he writes in the tradition of Flannery O'Connor and sings like William Faulkner.
HWY 100 is available on I-TUNES and CDBaby.com. Free downloads (mp3s, music videos) and information about the songs can be found at http://www.phoebeclaire.net.
SOURCE Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC